CDC coronavirus

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Two new COVID-19 cases were reported at UF today, marking the first cases announced at the university in almost a week. 

An undergraduate student in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences who lives in off-campus housing and an employee with the UF Libraries Facilities/Planning Department tested positive, bringing the total number of university cases to 32 today. 

When The Alligator asked UF spokesperson Steve Orlando Sunday about the possible reason for the decrease in reported cases, he said it’s likely because most students returned home more than two weeks ago. 

As of this morning, Alachua County has a total of 144 cases, with 136 being Florida residents. No deaths have been reported in the county.

County order recommends use of masks

The Alachua County Commission is recommending residents wear personal protection equipment while in public. 

An emergency order was announced Wednesday in a press release from county officials encouraging residents to wear cloth masks or face coverings adhering to guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to follow.

According to the guidelines, the face coverings should have several layers of fabric, fit against the side of the face, contain ties or ear loops, allow for easy breathing and be washed without damage.  

The CDC website also contains information about the proper procedures for removing and washing face masks. 

The county urged residents to avoid using medical-grade N95 masks because they are critical for health care workers, police and other emergency workers. 

There are currently no plans to enforce the order because it is a strong recommendation, said County Commissioner Robert Hutchinson at Tuesday’s emergency meeting before signing the order. Commissioners also addressed potential measures if the virus continues to spread at the meeting.

Contact Alex DeLuca and Grethel Aguila at [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow them on Twitter @AlexLDeLuca and @GrethelAguila.